There have been countless reviews of the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, but most are lacking in substance. Thankfully Cato Institute scholar Dan Mitchell has reviewed the administration’s first 100 days. Dan gives Trump an “I” for incomplete, but that says more about the arbitrary nature of judging a president on the first 100 days than it does about Trump’s presidency itself. Dan says he’s pleasantly surprised by how well the Trump administration has done so far, and goes in depth on some of the bigger issues. Dan writes:
- Fiscal Policy – Trump has proposed a good tax cut, though I fear it won’t go anywhere because a sufficient number of squeamish Republicans will feign concern about deficits. That excuse wouldn’t exist if the White House and congressional GOPers were more serious about spending restraint, so there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Though I’m nonetheless hopeful that the corporate tax rate will be reduced. Trump Grade: B
- Trade – Trump has moved policy in the wrong direction, but I’m weirdly relieved that he’s being somewhat restrained. He decided China is not a currency manipulator and he decided that the U.S. should remain part of NAFTA. In other words, he been doing a lot of saber-rattling, but fortunately not drawing too much blood. That being said, he is imposing new burdens on consumers and taxpayers. Trump Grade: D
- Regulation – This is Trump’s best issue area. He’s rolled back some Obama-era regulations, which is a good start. And he’s made some very sensible appointments, which means there’s hope of ameliorating the statist orientation of bureaucracies such as the FDA and the FCC. Trump Grade: B
- Monetary Policy – I have no idea how to assign a grade. Trump hasn’t said anything, much less done anything, on monetary policy. Trump Grade: I
- Rule of Law – Trump has been aggressive with executive orders, which worries me even if I happen to agree with the underlying policy. The White House hasn’t tried to flout court decisions, however, so that’s a good sign. The appointment and confirmation of Justice Gorsuch also bodes well (assuming he doesn’t “grow in office” like Justice Roberts). Trump Grade: B
Read more from Dan here at International Liberty.